The Associated Press
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Ÿ Marcus Camby, a preseason All-American, proved to be more than just a slick shooter. The 6-foot-11 junior was also an intimidator.
Camby scored 32 points, 16 in each half, blocked five shots and pulled down nine rebounds as No. 5 Massachusetts opened its season with a 92-82 victory over No. 1 Kentucky in the Great Eight basketball festival Tuesday night.
''We were intimidated by Marcus Camby out there tonight, looking for him to block all our shots,'' Kentucky coach Rick Pitino said. ''He's such a great player, when you double him he can find the open man. He's a good offensive and defensive player.''
The win gave the Minutemen a 3-0 record against top-ranked teams. Last season they opened with a 104-80 victory over defending national champion Arkansas. A year earlier, they defeated North Carolina in overtime in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT.
''We've got a long way to go to get where we want to be, but tonight we played UMass style basketball,'' Massachusetts coach John Calipari said. ''We played hard, and when you do that you give yourself a chance to win.''
Massachusetts used one of Kentucky's favorite tactics, the full-court press, to open an 18-point lead midway through the first half. But the Wildcats, getting two 3-pointers by Tony Delk and one each from Allen Edwards and Walter McCarty, battled back for a 45-45 halftime tie.
''At halftime we talked about what we had to do to handle Kentucky's pressure in the second half,'' Calipari said. ''And if we didn't do it we could lose this game by 25 points.''
The Minutemen opened the second half with an 11-1 run and led the rest of the way. Two of the points in that opening burst came on free throws by Edgar Padilla after Pitino was hit with a technical foul.
''The T was a factor, I'm sure, but I was just fed up with the officials missing out-of-bounds calls three or four times,'' Pitino said. ''I can understand them missing charges and blocks, but missing out-of-bounds calls more than once or twice a game I just can't handle.''
The Wildcats (1-1) closed the gap to 64-62 on Delk's 3-pointer with 10:07 remaining and narrowed the deficit to 76-74 on McCarty's free throw with 3:45 left.
Camby scored six more points the rest of the way, however, and the Minutemen kept up the defensive pressure at both ends of the court. As a result, the Wildcats went without a basket from Delks's jumper with 4:09 remaining until Walker connected with 54 seconds showing.
The Wildcats also hurt themselves at the free throw line, missing 10 of 28. Massachusetts hit 31-of-37 free throws. Kentucky shot 48.5 percent while Massachusetts shot 52.7 percent.
''We worked so hard to pressure the ball and get turnovers to get our offense going,'' Pitino said. ''But you can't win when you turn it over 23 times yourself.''
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